Monte Cecilia Housing Trust support family of eight into housing

Jun 15, 2017 | Member profiles

Carol Smith said she and her children are happy to finally be in a house of their own. Carol Smith’s home is a happy place, full of the sounds of laughter and play.

But things haven’t always been so good. The 36-year-old and her seven children have lived in a variety of situations, some of them difficult, since moving to New Zealand from Samoa in 201

Carol Smith’s goal is to start a home-based sewing business. They initially moved in with Smith’s aunty and her two children in a Housing NZ property in Mt Eden, central Auckland.

Three of Smith’s children slept on a mattress on the floor of the overcrowded three-bedroom home. Five months later, in November last year, the family moved in with a cousin in Favona, south Auckland. Smith and her seven children were able to move into a Housing NZ property in south Auckland thanks to support from the Monte Cecilia Housing Trust.

Unfortunately for Smith, the cousin was already living with her partner and seven children.They stayed there for a fortnight.

Smith contacted Work and Income and got onto the Ministry of Social Development’s social housing register to receive a state house. Her early attempts to get her family into a place of their own were unsuccessful.

“I applied for 11 private rental properties but landlords didn’t want us because I had too many kids and I’m not a permanent resident,” Smith said.

She eventually sought help from Monte Cecilia Housing Trust, a social and emergency housing provider based in Mangere, south Auckland, but it was full.Smith then moved out of her cousin’s home and into a south Auckland motel.

“We stayed in a single room there,” she said. “It had two double beds.

“My three boys slept on the floor and the rest of us slept in the beds.

“We were there for two months and two weeks.”

Monte housing social worker Bex Rillstone reviewed Smith’s social housing register application and regularly checked in with the ministry on her behalf.Housing NZ recently offered Smith a two-storey, five-bedroom home in Favona. She inspected it with Rillstone and didn’t wait long to snap it up.

“I am very happy,” Smith said. She’s currently a stay-at-home mum and receives the sole parent support benefit. Her dream is to start her own sewing business. Smith’s children are in school and doing well.

Rillstone said it’s not uncommon for larger families to struggle to find a private rental.

“People are putting in applications and they’re being declined.

“Landlords don’t want big families in their houses as they’re worried about damage caused by younger children.

“And a lot of landlords are hesitant with families on a benefit.”

Recent articles

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter 27 June 2022

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter 27 June 2022

Our CEO Vic Crockford reflects on our past, while looking forward, Dwell Housing Trust's board is recognised for their sterling efforts, new research highlights NZ's ongoing housing challenges. Upcoming events include; the Community Housing Aotearoa MSD Training...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 13 June 2022

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 13 June 2022

Kaupapakāinga: The potential for Māori cohousing, The Shift Directives - Leilani Farha, IN THE NEWS, EVENTS, National Volunteer Week, Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu, Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) | MSD Training Series - Session 3: Emergency Housing, Community Housing Aotearoa...

Annual Report

CHA’s 2020/21 Annual Report

CHA’s 2020/21 Annual Report

Strategic Plan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

Featured Network

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Our Place

Our Place Report 2017

Our Place Report 2017

Case Studies

Media Releases

News

Anti-Social Behaviour notes Nov 21

Tenants Protection Association (Chch) Inc. Notes for presentation at Tenancy Management Community of Practice Nov 2021 Anti-Social Behaviour notes Nov 21

Tenancy Management COP November 2021 summary

tenancy-management-cop-november-2021-summary The final Tenancy Management Community of Practice for 2021 was held via zoom on 11th November 2021. This Community of Practice is relevant for advocates, practitioners, navigators and tenancy managers involved in...

Newsletters

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter 27 June 2022

Our CEO Vic Crockford reflects on our past, while looking forward, Dwell Housing Trust's board is recognised for their sterling efforts, new research highlights NZ's ongoing housing challenges. Upcoming events include; the Community Housing Aotearoa MSD Training...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 13 June 2022

Kaupapakāinga: The potential for Māori cohousing, The Shift Directives - Leilani Farha, IN THE NEWS, EVENTS, National Volunteer Week, Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu, Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) | MSD Training Series - Session 3: Emergency Housing, Community Housing Aotearoa...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 30 May 2022

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 30 May 2022, 2022 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards now open for nominations, Community Finance takes out Innovation in Finance award, Budget 2022 panel discussion, Two new Pacific roles at CHA, NRHCC - winter wellness and...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 17 May 2022

Māori, Pacific needs left out of one size fits all approach to high-density developments, HUD and CHA Online Engagement on draft Public Housing Design Guidelines, In the News, RESOURCES, 2022 updates to healthy homes standards regulations take effect today,...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 2 May 2022

Human Rights Commission releases troubling indicators on habitability, COVID-19 RESPONSE, First funds released from council housing reserve, Seven-point plan released to tackle cost of living, Community Finance nominated for top industry award, In the News, Events,...

Submissions

Legislation

Reports

Research

Community Housing Aotearoa

Contact Us

Contact Info

Level 11, Ranchhod Tower,
39 The Terrace /
102-112 Lambton Quay
PO Box 11543
Wellington 6142

+04 385 8722

support@communityhousing.org.nz

Follow On